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Archive for June, 2011

As a verb, refreshing means to comfort… make to feel better…

Spending time relaxing with nature, maybe camping, fishing or just relaxing by some water can be a great way of being refreshed. Here’s an example of this…

Click on the image for a larger photo…

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Just when I get to thinking that maybe I won’t retire at the end of the year, something like this comes along…

You know, I really like my work, it’s interesting, it’s challenging and it’s fun. However, it can be stressful and at my age stress is not good. I like going out and working with my clients in a networking capacity. It’s great seeing how they react when you set up their new equipment and they can print, scan to network folders, re-route incoming faxes and send out email all from their new MFP. That’s just for starters.

Just when I get comfortable with the way these machines works something new comes along. Today is a good example.

Yesterday we installed a “New Generation” MFP. The operating system in it has changed and now I know why. First of all, this new equipment sets up slightly different in a Windows 7 environment. The learning curve is I learn as I install, see what problems might occur and then study it to see how to make it right. It all has to do, for the most part, with how Windows 7 permissions and security settings are set when they were installed and whether or not it is a 32 or 64 bit machine. Then we see how best to install and setup the New Generation MFP.

I had to go back today because when the client tried to print to the new MFP both his computer and the MFP would hang and had to be re-booted. To make a long story short, the problem had to do with how the print driver is installed and whether or not it was the Universal or the PS driver.

Well, I finally got everything working after I disabled the “super sleep” mode of the MFP and re-installed the Microsoft Universal driver for the MFP. Strange chain of events, but it worked and both the PC’s and the MFP works and the client is happy. However, it was something that we had to see, diagnose and make a corrective change in order to know that this can be a problem and how to fix it; stressful.

So, I’m in the process of learning the new system and how it works with Windows 7, and trying not to think about the new Windows 8 that is due out next year.

Now you may be wondering what all of this has to do with Cloud Computing and MFP’s? Good question and here’s the answer. The company that makes these MFP’s, I learned today, has partnered with Cortado Cloud Printing alliance. What is so important about this?

Well, to make a long story short, by utilizing Cortado, people will now be able to do secure mobile printing from an iPadTM!, iPhone, Blackberry, Android or Symbian devices in an effort for end-users to realize easy, on-demand printing for any content, with any device, at any location, according to a news article I read.

The mobile phone that I use is six years old. I know nothing about any of these devices and frankly, I don’t want to; very stressful. Yes, it is very stressful because if I decide to stay on after the first of the year I will have to learn how these electronic devices work, if not sooner, so that I will understand how they will work with our equipment and be able, not only to set them up, but to also troubleshoot and make effective settings changes to keep them working.

Oh how I long for the good’ol days of just working on PC’s. With that in mind, here’s a photo of the insides of a PC that was just recently brought to me to find out what’s wrong with it.

They said that it just won’t come on. Well, the fan is jammed with a hold down tab for the CPU heat sink. The CPU gets hot too quick telling me that it is probably shot. The Hard Drive won’t come on, even though there is proper voltage to it, and the mother board may have been fried due to the moisture that got into it; that can be seen from the markings on the sides and on the motherboard itself.

It could be a quick and easy fix, if I get the right parts, but it will be better, cheaper and easier just to buy a new PC. That’s my recommendation.

Here’s the photo, you can see for yourself. What do you think?

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For two weeks in a row, now, I’ve been able to combine both my Retirement Journal and the Weekly Photo Challenge.

What is worn is our once “Infamous” elevator; photo to follow.

When I began work back in ” 86 ” the elevator was a fully automatically manual operation. Yeah, I know, “fully automatically manual” operation isn’t a term, but in this case, it is. Let me explain.

When it was running it did so fully automatically. However, to start it or stop it you had to do so manually. In an offbeat way it was fun to do so and it tested your timing skills as well. It could also be the source of greatest frustration.

We have four flours in our building plus what I call the mezzanine, which really is an in-between flour. When you wanted to go up or down you would first open the door and if the elevator wasn’t there you would then have to look up or down to see what floor it was on. Once that was determined you then had to reach around the edge of the open elevator shaft and find the lift cable. Basically what you did with this cable was to either pull down on it if you wanted the elevator to go up or pull up on it if you wanted the elevator to come down.

Then, when the elevator was at the floor where you were at you would reach in and give a slight tug on the cable in order to make it stop, and you would do so in the opposite direction of the way the elevator was moving. If you were good at this, for the most part, it would stop right at the level of the floor you were on. If not, you would either have to try to move the elevator some more or just step down onto it or step up to get on it.

So, when the elevator was running, it did so in a fully automatically way. To get it started and to stop it you would have to do so manually. See? It was all a form of timing and manipulation.

Well, over the years, and after a few trips, falls and close accidents, not to mention problems in moving equipment and supplies, it was decided to make the operation more of an automatic thing. Before long we had a fully semi-automatic operational elevator. We now have buttons on each floor that if we want the elevator to come to us, before opening the doors, we push a button and hold it in until the elevator arrives and stops on its own. We then get on and push a button for one of the floors that we want and hold it in until we reach that floor and it will, again, stop on its own.

Our elevator may be worn and old as dirt, so to speak, but it has gone from being a fully automatic manually operated piece of equipment to a fully semi-automatic run beauty of mechanized wonder.

Now if I could just learn how to carry my laptop case, test equipment and parts bag, along with my coffee and push a button at the same time, without spilling any coffee… or dropping my doughnut… I would be a happy camper.

It’ll never happen. Retirement is looking better and better.

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Well, without further ado, here’s a photo of the once “infamous”, but now a fully semi-automatically operated, elevator… 🙂

Click on the image for a larger and better view…

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When I first get to the my desk in the morning, I boot up my laptop. While it is coming to ready, I head over to the servers and check on the nightly backups. Once the tapes are pulled and new ones put in I head back over to my desk to see if the laptop is ready. Basically, anyone with a PC or laptop should do the same; wait that is, after starting it. Here’s why.

When you first start your machine the Desktop may come up quickly but there are programs and “apps” still running in the background of which you don’t know. Because of this, when you first boot up your machine it is at its slowest of any time during the day. Have you ever wondered why your email program or your internet browser always seem so slow when you first open it? That is why, because you didn’t give you machine enough time to fully come to ready.

I always tell our people, here, that after they start their PC or laptop to get up from their desk and go get some coffee or go to the bathroom or do something else for at least 5 to 10 minutes, to give their machine time to come to ready and be fully functional when they get back.

But, you know, most people don’t listen and I still get the grumbles and growls about their machine being so slow in the morning, and when I ask them what they did after they booted up they will always tell me that they tried opening some program and not the fact that they got up and moved away from it for a while.

When I remind about it they will look at me dumbfounded and exclaim, most of the time, that they don’t have time for coffee or something  like that. But they have time to call me and complain about their slow machine. Can’t win.

That, definitely, is one thing I will not miss when I retire. Speaking of that, as I write this, I have 7 months and 2 hours and 15 minutes until my target retirement date. Let’s see how that goes… 🙂

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Since my post was on mornings at work, I decided to combine this weeks photo challenge with the post since they both have the same topic: Morning…

So, here is my “Morning” photo. It is an early morning image of the West end of the Narrows, through which Route 40 runs as it comes out of Cumberland, MD. Next to Route 40 also runs Wills Creek and the Chessie System Railroad on one side of the Narrows and the Western Maryland Railway on the other side of the Narrows.

It may sound crowded, I know, but it isn’t. If you ever get to Western MD, especially Cumberland, you will have to take a ride through this wonderful natural site and view, not only the mountains on both sides but Lovers Leap as well; but that’s another story…

Here’s the photo…

Please click on the image for a larger view…

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Presenting the Number Seventeen… 🙂

 
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Now for the uninitiated, MFP stand for Multi Functional Peripheral. It can also be called an MFD – Multi Functional Device. However you want to call it, it is an interesting piece of equipment, used on Networks, and they continue to evolve into a fantastic operational resource.

This past week, I’ve been studying all about the New Generation of MFP’s with which I work. I had to take a Webinar and pass an exam in order to stay certified, and to allow our dealer to continue to buy these for re-sale. Yes, I passed. I had to since I’m the only one qualified to have done so; but it wasn’t easy.

So much is changing, and at such a fast pace, that it is hard even for a younger person to keep up, let alone someone of my age. However, it does have its benefits. I’ve been told that having to constantly use my brain as I do, with what’s left of it, helps to keep it active, strong and less likely to become apathetic. Now why would I want to do that?

Anyway, some of what I’ve learned is the fact that these MFP’s can now access the Internet, but only to what ever web page has been authorized. As an example, say we have several people working on a document, but they are all at different locations. With this MFP we can scan a doc up to, say, Google Docs and everyone who has permissions for that page can access the doc, and together assemble what we feel is needed to make it what we want.

After saving it, the MFP can then retrieve the finished doc from off of the web site and print it out in color or black and white; with stapling, folding, 2-sided, etc. Now that is amazing.

Also in the works, and basically can be done now with the right App, is the ability to print to the MFP from any i-Phone, i-Pad, wireless laptop, etc. from anywhere in the world. This is what I’ve been trying to learn today. It’s not been easy as there are, as of yet, no manuals put together on how to do this. I’ve had to take what  little bit of info I get from here and there and try to work this out. But, no matter what I’ve learned, I can’t practice as the Embedded Web Browser, that is on the MFP, has yet to be activated.

Once we get the enabler, which is a USB device with the software integration on it, and plug it into the MFP can we then enable the use of the Embedded Web Browser and actually try to make this work. So, for now, that’s all I’ve been able to accomplish with this New Generation of MFP.

So, stay tuned, and next week I hope to be able to tell you exactly how you can walk up to this MFP and access the Internet, download files for printing or saving and being able to print to it from anywhere in the world; as long as you have the capacity and permissions to do so.

Man I’m getting to old for this, and the slower I get the faster things change. Technology is passing me by and I’m finding it increasingly harder to keep up. My sideline in photography is looking better and better. Although there are some aspects of photography I won’t do, as I’m not suited for that style of work… 🙂

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Speaking of photography, here’s another example of some of my work; taken from my own yard…

You may click on the image for a larger view…

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